Thomas Jefferson to Meriwether Lewis, April 23, 1803
Thomas Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress
Thomas Jefferson worries that lengthy preparations are keeping Meriwether Lewis from a swift departure, fearing a delay to the expedition.
Washington Apr. 23, 1803.
I have not been able to hear any thing of you since Mar. 7 till two or three days ago. Lieut. Wilson told me you would leave Frederic the 18th inst. & that you had been detained till then at Harper's ferry Maps: Lewis Evans (1755) , where Capt. Murray also told me he had seen you. I have no doubt you have used every possible exertion to get off, and therefore we have only to lament what cannot be helped, as the delay of a month now may lose a year in the end. Will you be so good as to call on Doct. Bollman with my compliments & pay him for some wine sent me? I suppose it will be about 12 Doll. but it must be whatever he says. I will also thank you to purchase for me a Leopard or tyger's skin, such as the covers of our saddles were cut out of. In North 3d street & North 4th street a few doors only from Market street there used to be a considerable furrier's store in each. At one of these it was that I saw a robe of what they called the Peruvian sheep, and I took to be of the Lama or Vigogna. it was made up of several skins, & was of the price of 12 D. If there be such a thing there now, you can either observe & report it to me, or if you think it good (for I have almost forgot it) I would take it at once. Let me hear from you on your receipt of this, and inform me of your prospect of getting off.